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Star Wars Laser Makes Its Move Into Biomedical Research

THE VANDERBILT FREE ELECTRON LASER CENTER Vanderbilt University's Free Electron Laser Center was dedicated on April 16, 1992, with a commemorative lecture delivered by noted physicist Edward Teller, an outspoken proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative. The FEL facility is a 13,000-square-foot building, which includes a subsurface vault with seven-foot-thick concrete walls for housing the radiation-producing laser. The laser light is sent upstairs to the research laboratories through a ser

Scott Veggeberg

THE VANDERBILT FREE ELECTRON LASER CENTER

Vanderbilt University's Free Electron Laser Center was dedicated on April 16, 1992, with a commemorative lecture delivered by noted physicist Edward Teller, an outspoken proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative. The FEL facility is a 13,000-square-foot building, which includes a subsurface vault with seven-foot-thick concrete walls for housing the radiation-producing laser. The laser light is sent upstairs to the research laboratories through a series of pipes and mirrors, according to university officials. In addition to a sterile surgical suite, the university has made tissue culture and animal care facilities available.

By adjusting the energy of the electrons used to generate the laser light, the wavelength can be tuned between 2 and 10 micrometers, in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the future the center expects to have a far-infrared FEL, tunable between 50 and 200 micrometers.

Vanderbilt was selected as the location...

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